Timothy Summers’ very practical plans for web3

Dr. Timothy Summers is Executive Director of Product Development of Digital Trust and Lead of Pocket initiative at Arizona State University and CEO at Summers & Company. He has the knowledge and expertise that would make some people tough for laypeople to understand. But he approaches problem solving and opportunities with practicality that is energizing. I took this opportunity to ask him about how web3 might become the thing we’ve been reading speculation about, and he had some characteristically intelligent and down-to-earth thoughts on the subject, coming from his work at ASU.

You can find Timothy on Twitter at @howhackersthink

The Strategy Inside Everything is the podcast for people who think for a living. If you have an idea, a question or you want to push back on something you hear in this episode, go to https://thatsnotaninsight.com and leave a message or a voicemail for me. The best and most interesting messages will be added to future episodes, and I can’t wait to hear from you. Music for The Strategy Inside Everything is by Sawsquarenoise.

Host Adam Pierno is an author, speaker and strategy consultant. Learn more atadampierno.com.

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Transcript here:

Adam Pierno 0:02
This is The Strategy Inside Everything. I’m Adam Pierno. The Strategy Inside Everything is the podcast for people who think for a living. If you have an idea, a question or you want to push back on something you hear in this episode, go to thatsnotaninsight.com and leave a message or a voicemail for me. The best and most interesting messages will be added to future episodes. And I can’t wait to hear from you. All right, welcome back to another episode of The Strategy Inside Everything.

This is a 100%, Arizona based episode for change. We’ve been globetrotting a little bit, but we are extremely local. Today’s guest is my first guest from my workplace here at Arizona State University. I would like you all to meet the executive director of third horizon initiatives, Timothy Summers, PhD., Timothy, how’re you doing?

Timothy Summers, PhD. 1:03
Doing great. Thank you so much for having me.

Adam Pierno 1:05
Timothy, we had a meeting a couple of weeks ago. And on this very topic of, of web three, we got both pulled into a kind of authority series of questions. I said, Oh, I gotta I gotta pick his brain. I need to know more about his expertise and all that he knows. Thank you for making time for me.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 1:23
Absolutely. I got super excited to be here. And look, I like talking about this stuff. We just had some really great conversations. And I was just really excited to be here.

Adam Pierno 1:33
I’m actually a little afraid that this conversation won’t live up to some of the conversations, we were able to just have just trading ideas. So you keep me honest and tell me if I’m not doing a good job and push it to where it needs to go. Okay. Absolutely.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 1:48
It’s a team effort.

Adam Pierno 1:51
Timothy, would you give the listeners a sense of your career, and you may need to explain third horizon initiatives of as we were just joking around about here, are sure you

Timothy Summers, PhD. 2:01
know, I’ll start, you know, with the old work to the new. I started my, my career and experience, really, coding early on, started coding really early, and then started hacking shortly thereafter. And what I used to say hacking, I mean, in the sense of just really being inquisitive about how systems work, how to understand how the code work, how the plumbing work, understanding how those things were being exploited by bad guys. You know, and, you know, I just was always really keen to wanting to understand how to protect my family members and others, you know, the people who are incredibly tech savvy, really sort of sparked my interest in cybersecurity. And I decided to kind of go in that direction. I went to school for computer science and business I went to for undergrad I went to a small historically black college in North Carolina, Elizabeth City State University. wonderful university. But that’s where I did my computer science and business studies. Then when I got a full ride to Carnegie Mellon University and went to school there, which was wonderful was the only school I wanted to go to, I think it might have been the only school I applied to my parents thought it was nuts. But I managed to get it well. And, you know, here’s the thing, Adam, yeah, I, you know, it was just incredibly excited about being you know, at a place where robotics was taking place. You know, I my first standing campus, I saw robots playing soccer with with human kids kind of blew me away. And I said, Yeah, I definitely should go to school at this place.

Adam Pierno 3:42
You were so

Timothy Summers, PhD. 3:44
I was so super computers on campus, you know, these robots played soccer. I was like, Yeah, this place seems like it’s the future. So, you know, you did a you did my graduate studies there, decided to work for a bit, went into the government, you know, took a position within the Department of Defense, doing all kinds of really amazing work, designing autonomous systems, and, you know, and designing, you know, futuristic, you know, systems that didn’t exist at the time, all kinds of, you know, unmanned on, you know, aerial, autonomous and like, really, really fun stuff. And that’s really where I got into, you know, kind of started getting into web three and AI and that space and cybersecurity was you know, obviously, a really important part of my repertoire there as well left that went on to become a government contractor for a bit and the consultant did that for Ooh man. Jeez, I don’t even want I don’t want to put yours on and beat myself but that and then went pursued a PhD once a case reserved for my PhD and I’m wanting to teach started teaching at the University of Maryland College Park, where I was the director of innovation, entrepreneurship and community engagement, and also did some advisory for a number of other colleges on campus and including the journalism school and also the president’s office as well. And my body of work was on hackers and how they think, you know, that’s been my, my, my space. And, you know, fast forward. You know, I started a company summers in company, providing consulting and AI, cybersecurity and blockchain and web three, and ASU, you know, it was really a innovative and entrepreneurial university, you know, reached out and said, Hey, we’re trying to do some really amazing things out here. Would you consider it and, you know, everything else is that everything else is kind of fell into place here, right?

Adam Pierno 5:56
Yeah, yeah. Well, I’m glad you’re here. So it sounds like I just heard you say something that I had never thought of before. But you mentioned your your love of hacking as kind of an expression of curiosity. That’s what got you into moving from the idea of coding into hacking and like, proactively figuring out how things work? And then you said, you connected pretty clearly hacking and web three? And I don’t think I don’t think you mean hacking from a cybersecurity standpoint, I think you mean hacking from that same thing of, let’s figure out how this all connects? Does that real?

Timothy Summers, PhD. 6:33
You know, I would say, yes. And so, so yeah, you’re spot on. Right? So there’s one piece of this, where, you know, you really have to think about what is happening in web three, you know, this perspective of, you know, going from centralized to decentralized, this idea of, you know, not having all of the control in one centralized place, but rather seeing that control sort of disseminated out to the users in the sense that they can be key to the deciding factors or decision making in that ecosystem and or in that environment. You know, it’s pretty consistent with, with many of the tenets and principles and values of the hacker hacking community. Yeah. You know, one of the things also I would say, as well is, you know, really the, the hackers mindset, you know, is all about innovation. It’s really about, you know, understanding, you know, how systems work, asking questions to probe those systems, to query them to to get to the, to the precipice and asking what’s, what’s beyond. And I think web three is exactly that right now. I mean, we’re calling it web three, you know, a few years ago, you know, so we’re heavily using the buzzword right now. But, but it is quite different. Even designing businesses, for a decentralized environment looks totally different than they do in a centralized environment. And, and that’s an important part of the future, because we see just how, with reasoning,

Adam Pierno 8:18
but even, even conceptually, what a business is, in a decentralized environment is a different. I mean, it’s a total shift of the of the perspective of what business looks and feels like there’s not a there’s not necessarily I should say, that central exchange of a product or service to one person. It’s this this all around the campfire movement of goods, services, and currency of any kind.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 8:48
Yeah, you know, so I will say that it’s a it’s a mixture, right? Yeah. I think we’re in a place right now. We’re still, you know, we kind of do a little bit of the conversation around. You know, what, we can only have centralized or decentralized, we can’t have both. And but we, we can, it’s really about selecting the right tool for the job. Right. And it’s a lot of times, you know, really the hardest question to ask yourself is, you know, which one is the best tool for the job? I would say that, you know, where we are right now is we’re really sort of seeing a transformation, a lot of transformation, a lot of things and a lot of levels. And not to dive too deep, too quickly. But just to get one sense of an example. self education is a massive transformation happening right now. There’s a massive interest in desire in individuals to be able to, you know, learn in a just in time fashion. You know, if we look at people today, I mean, you could pretty much go online and learn just about anything, right? Like how, how a fusion reactor work. semi, they didn’t have to build your own miniature version. I mean, you could do all of that stuff. So it’s a really fascinating point of time. But if you think about that, what is that? It’s a decentralization, of, for example, training, for example, instead of, you know, people going to one designated place, they’re able to go to multiple designated places, which is really interesting sort of transformation that the world was taking. And the pandemic really showed all of us that we needed to get there a lot sooner than we thought.

Adam Pierno 10:33
Yeah, it was a it obviously changed perspective for a lot of people. You know, it’s funny, as you mentioned, you know, that that, just in time learning, I remember going to the library, and being able to check out books and be like, oh, I want to learn about this, here’s a book, you have access to such a deeper set of information now with, you know, finding a course on the master classes, or Coursera, or even ASU, like you can go get the information you want, and get it taught by the, in the method or the mode or the modality that you want, that you learn the best. And it’s, it’s, it is a huge shift. And it’s probably the tip of the iceberg of decentralization. It’s a it’s an indicative leading indicator for us, I think of how much things could change.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 11:17
Absolutely. And really, you know, this decentralization piece is really important. I mean, it’s a concept that’s been around, as long as man as long as people have been thinking about how to organize other human beings. Decentralization has been a topic and it’s often used, right in areas like government and strategy, hence, us talking about it here. You know, and it’s heavily researched, right, especially in the United States, and there’s been a lot of research. And really the core idea there being the transfer of control, you know, in authority, right, throughout the users, rather than having a single central entity that’s in charge. And this model offers many advantages, like increased productivity, faster decision making, and better motivation. For me, I really, you know, started leaning into these technologies. One, I was inspired really from just the hacker community, because there were just a lot of tenants that were pretty similar. The ethical specifically, you know, in the ethical hacking sort of lens, obviously, I consider myself an ethical hacker, which is a very important distinction, I think. But, you know, also recognizing that in order to make, for example, Blockchain possible, there’s a number of cybersecurity related technologies that are necessary, such as understanding cryptography, such as understanding public key cryptography, right, such as understanding hashing algorithms, and how hashing works, understanding digital signatures and a number of other technological capabilities that make it all possible. So it really did connect really well, there also. And then lastly, I would say, around, you know, this concept of, of, actually crisis manager, I was working with a really forward thinking group in Europe, back during the Belgian and Paris, terrorist attacks few years back, right. And one of the things that we were talking about, and that came out of that work was, you know, the idea that during really chaotic times, it’s best to have small autonomous teams that can make decisions that can function efficiently and productively in a quick decision making fashion. But it’s still in tune with the overarching vision and mission that we have maybe, you know, whichever of that situation at the time, you know, the the crisis does your whatever that is, but we found that that was much better for handling chaotic scenarios. So there was a number of things that sort of happened for me, that brought me to this point of saying, Wow, this convergence of technologies is coming at the right time.

Adam Pierno 14:25
Yeah, and you can’t have you can’t have that central command and control in those dynamic situations. I’ve been confused about the idea of blockchain as a symbol of decentralization, because, and maybe you’re the person to narrate this for me in a way that I understand. When I think of blockchain, it is like a binding central ledger. You know, there’s not a person at the helm of it, but it is keeping a central record that everybody who enters that blockchain agrees to its authority. You know, No and ethically it’s like, Okay, once I engage once I, once I put my record in there, you know, that’s the law is this blockchain is everybody who’s on that chain is agreeing to talk to me a little about how that you know that that shift in the thinking of centrality in that it’s not it’s not quite centralized, but there is a central component to the to that community around the blockchain.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 15:26
Sure, sure. Great questions are out and I before motion into that, I also kind of want to give a little bit of context to when the centralization that you know, I am not an advocate for I’m not advocating for getting rid of centralization. I’m just saying, again, it’s important to understand the right tool for the job

Adam Pierno 15:45
for Timothy, Timothy is not an anarchist for the record.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 15:53
For all the schools that we’ve we’ve created, I mean, we’ve got, you know, centralization, there are models, where, where that may be useful, you know, but But for example, it’s possible to have a centralized or decentralized blockchain. You know, a blockchain is inherently distributed, meaning that multiple parties have copies of the data, but it’s not inherently decentralized. There are two types of blockchain for the most part, you have your permissionless like a public blockchain, and you also have your permission, like private blockchain. Also important to understand where blockchain fits into the context of web three, right. So three is considered to be the future of the internet. It’s a vision of a blockchain based internet. That includes cryptocurrencies, non fungible tokens, smart contracts, decentralized, autonomous organizations, decentralized finance, which you’ve probably heard folks referred to as defy and a load of other capabilities that come out of it. That’s what we’re three is now, Blockchain in the context of decentralization getting to your core question, again, a blockchain can be centralized or decentralized. In a permissionless public blockchain like Bitcoin, there’s no central authority to manage the whole blockchain network. The data of the blockchain is not stored in any central location anywhere, you know, for public blockchains, any person can become part of the blockchain network. The control and authority of the network are distributed among participating nodes, a copy of the blockchain is spread across those nodes in the network. And so whenever a new block is created, that new block is added to the blockchain, each node in the network has to update its blockchain copy, to reflect that change. And this implementation makes the public blockchain decentralized in the sense that all of the data control and authority in the network are distributed amongst the users of the blockchain.

Adam Pierno 18:13
So it’s not like it’s all sitting at a server at Google. It is everybody’s contributing parts of it, and have access to other parts of it to help. It’s kind of like, going back to my my primitive internet mind thinking about Napster and p2p sharing where people were each contributing parts of a file that I was trying to download. So that to speed up the process and to keep it all from being pulled from one central place.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 18:39
Well, I would say, you know, another way a better way of saying that is actually that each participant in the blockchain has a copy of the blockchain. In the sense of every it in the sense that there’s consensus that’s this is working census comes into play, all of the nodes essentially have to come to consensus that they all see the same new block being added. And so if there is no consensus, that means that someone has been trying to muck with the blockchain in a malicious way. Because theoretically, if we’re all looking at the same blockchain, then we should all have the same copy. So that’s where that’s the security. That’s one of the security aspects of the blockchain. Is that because we, it’s transparent, we all have in we’re starting to get into a little bit of the advantages and disadvantages of the blockchain. So I’ll just go ahead and give you a little bit of that. Right. So So I mean, like, okay, blockchains are not a panacea. They’re not, you know, you should not opt for a blockchain every solution.

Adam Pierno 19:54
It’s funny. You started the beginning by saying it’s about knowing what your what the right tool is. And again, I didn’t think of blockchain as a tool. But I immediately when you made that face, I realized like, oh, Blockchain is a tool. And it’s not always the right tool.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 20:09
Yes, there definitely is an art and science to knowing when to pick the blockchain. Right? If you’re trying to build some, you know, really fast and efficient chat application, I Yeah, Blockchain is not best for that. But there are things that blockchains are really great for. But so here’s some of the advantages, right? So some of the key things, and these aren’t the only advantages, I would say. But these are definitely the ones that some of the biggest ones and one that really, I take away from the attack. The first is really the establishment of a trust list environment. Because through using a decentralized blockchain, no one needs to know or trust anyone else in the network. Because as such, right, every node in the network holds the same copy of the blockchain data. So if someone tries to tamper with the data, then it’ll be rejected by the majority of the nodes, because it doesn’t reflect what they all have. And so you got to think about this, you may have a network with millions of nodes, it would be incredibly taxing, to try to, you know, to try to maliciously generate consensus across millions, billions or however many nodes there might be in the network, it would be incredibly daunting. Another piece, advantage to the blockchain is the transparency is built in decentralized, blockchains are transparent, right. So as these blockchains they’re open to the public, you know, anyone with internet access can participate in the blockchain. And then also, you know, a copy of that ledger data, you know, being maintained by each participating node, you know, again, you know, everyone, instead of it being kind of like the way we do business, centralized business today, you know, let’s say you have company A and company B, and they’re doing business together, essentially, they keep their own books internal. And, you know, we hope that we have the same data in our books. Whereas if you’re doing business together on the blockchain, you don’t have to hope that it’s the same data because we have the same data. And that’s, that’s inherent to the process. We’ve got a transparency.

Adam Pierno 22:27
But you can use that in other ways, you know, like we’re using it, part of the things you’re working on is about certifications and educational attainment on the blockchain.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 22:39
Yep. So the blockchain to again, the blockchain being this transparent record or transparent ledger, it allows multiple parties that are, you know, have an interest in participate, to be able to see the same transparent data to be able to make the same kinds of, you know, effective decision making that they need. Another piece of this is users have full control. That’s another really important part. Right? So with decentralization, the users of the blockchain have full control over the operations of that blockchain. So since no central authority, all the data control that are in authority of the blockchain are in the hands of the user. So let’s use your example. You mentioned the work that we’re doing around credentials and certifications. So we need to have, you know, those entities, those issuers of those certificates or credentials, we need to have a way for them to be to participate in a ledger for them to all be able to see what kinds of data they may need to share, right if you’ve got multiple entities participating in our blockchain network, you know, doing b2b transactions. The beautiful thing about this ledger is it provides them a sense of ground truth, transparent ground truth that they can base built into their business transactions. And then because each one of them have their own copy of it, it just provides that much more transparency and control. But there’s two more really important aspects of the blockchain that it would be remiss not to mention. One is that it’s immutable. Meaning in a decentralized blockchain, the data stored in a blockchain is almost impossible to modify. This is because essentially, each modification needs to be verified by each node in the blockchain network. So you can add you can append to a blockchain, you can add things to it, but you can’t take things away. And that’s a really important piece. And then the last another last important piece of security by design. The decentralized blockchain is secure because it uses cryptography to protect the data. Additionally, the data in a current block so we add a new block that block requires data from the previous block to confirm that it is a legitimate addition to the blockchain. So not only does it have to be consensus that, you know, hey, everyone agrees this block needs to be added to the blockchain. But there also needs to be proof demonstrable, cryptographic proof that this new block has the hash in relation to the previous preceding block. If you don’t, the blockchain falls apart.

Adam Pierno 25:32
Got it? That’s what listening to you talk about it with such ease as scaring me away? No, no, it’s it’s very informative, but it’s like they you have such a clear understanding and a clearer picture of it. Because for me, it’s so abstract. You know, I haven’t I haven’t spent the time in there. And this is really helpful for me.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 25:55
Well, I had a I was supposed to be, you know, had some home work at home, I was planning to do some lights, I need to hang up. And instead I spent, I think it was Saturday, I spent Saturday building a decentralized autonomous organization. So so yeah.

Adam Pierno 26:17
Hanging hanging lights, buddy, I can help you. Alright, my brothers are electrician. What do you need you to put in some can lights? I’ll be there. Gotta dry. Saw, I’ll be there. Do you call me I’ll be there. No problem. You just helped me forgot the blockchain. So there you go. So we’ve been seeing, you know, NF T’s have been the the lead, public facing product, you know, for consumers to understand and NF T’s really in the form of digital art. I don’t think that’s the end game for web three. I don’t think that’s where it’s gonna end. I don’t think most people believe that. I think the communities that have built around the most effective NF T’s like what board API club has built, that there’s this the benefits around it, and the immunity that those owners feel are theirs participants might be a better word in board ape. Where do you think the next level of web three that’ll develop will be? You know, is it is it daos? Is it? Is it some other thing that hasn’t been kind of hit the mainstream yet?

Timothy Summers, PhD. 27:29
Oh, man, great question. Well, the reason we’re seeing things happen the way they are now is that we’re seeing a convergence of some key technologies. We’re seeing a convergence of things like artificial intelligence, robotics, man, but energy storage is happening like crazy right now. Yeah. Blockchain tech receiving cryptocurrencies, like pushing, you know, folks in regular everyday in the regular everyday lives, talk about cryptocurrencies? Yeah, talk to, you know, you know, you know, folks, you know, just coming into college or in high school, you talk to them today, and you ask them about a digital wallet, they’ve probably got five already. So it’s this convergence of a massive number of things happening. And I do think that we’re at a really transformative place. You know, when we’ve, you know, just looking across the market, I could see easily about 20 Different areas where we’re seeing transformative technologies have been approaching tipping points right now, costs are dropping across the board. You know, if you look at the capabilities we have in terms of AI right now, a big part of that used to be hardware costs, that stuff.

Adam Pierno 28:43
You say costuming, the cost computing, power computing,

Timothy Summers, PhD. 28:46
power, storage, right? You know, just think of think about, like, you know, what web two, sort of meant, in the, in this sort of grand scheme, I mean, when to what it showed us was that through users using technology, they’re going to store it, you know, up in a central place, or want to store it in a central place somewhere where they have access to it, but they don’t want companies to own it anymore. They want to be at a place now where it’s, you know, it’s all automated, it’s distributed, it’s consistent, it’s transparent. It’s private, by design, secure by design, you know, these are the kinds of things that users are starting to ask for. And, you know, we’ve seen anyone who has ever gotten that notification that hey, we lost your data at a security breach knows that, you know, companies are no better suited to protect your data, then you are in effect, you’re probably a pretty good steward of your data. So let’s give you the opportunity to do

Adam Pierno 29:44
and as an individual, you’re less of a target for for intentional breach right then then a credit card company or a bank or something.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 29:52
Exactly. And so, so we are seeing some massive things happening. Now. You asked a question. Free and I’m giving you bits and pieces of what I think hat is happening that will make that’s going to bring web three to ubiquity. You know, one, public blockchains right now are totally transforming every traditional asset class out there. You know, investors once thought that the internet was going to be, you know, a new channel among all the others radio, TV, newspaper, and then internet. But now the internet is facilitating all channels, you can get radio,

Adam Pierno 30:36
TV from my TV comes over the internet. Yeah, for sure. Everything’s happening over the internet is Padres people are getting over the internet? Yeah, exactly.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 30:46
So similar. Right? If you were to look at, you know, the different types of assets being issued on public blockchains right now, they’re impacting literally every single asset class. So just the same way that the internet turns information in their packets online, public blockchains are likely to turn you know, assets, pretty much turn all of our assets into transactions on chain, you know, you know, from public blockchains. You know, you can facilitate cryptocurrencies, crypto equities, commodities, you know, NF T’s, decentralized autonomous organizations, which at the heart of that are smart contracts, which is an entirely revolutionary concept in and of itself.

Adam Pierno 31:32
And no, but the smart contracts, thing is in tell me if I’m wrong, but in my mind, it’s like, a hypothetical at this point, the the idea exists, it can be executed, but it is not always executed the way. You know, it’s assumed that Oh, okay. There’s an NF Ts, there’s a smart contract that’s automatically baked into it, or there’s a web three application or a web three use, it automatically has smart contracts baked in. That’s, that’s not standard protocol. At this point. It could be in the future.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 32:08
Yeah, so definitely anticipate smart contracts to be a pivotal part of that, I would say smart contracts are core to for certain three, there’s three different revolutions, things I think are happening right now. First one, I would say is around money. And we’ve seen that with Bitcoin. Yes, the second one is around finance. And we’re seeing that going from traditional finance, to decentralize finance,

Adam Pierno 32:44
and you’re talking about defy, and all those asset classes that you mentioned, that are all kind of being hit at the same time with this opportunity for growth. And to get into the hands of more people through the use of web three technologies.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 32:59
I think that public blockchains in public blockchains, just the one piece of tech part of the web three portfolio, but public blockchains have facilitated a number of massive revolutions, I think that money and finance are two massive ones. Money being if you just look at how Bitcoin has provided a global, decentralized non state form of money, financially, just looking at how defy has opened up all kinds of massive potential for staking and loans and a number of other things, you don’t even have to look far to find institutions that are providing all kinds of new financial services coordination. And then on the internet piece, right. You know, we are now as a web three really is, I mean, if I could summarize it, I would say it’s really all about an interoperable user wound Web. That’s really what it’s all about user, you know, interoperable, user owned, not owned by the big conglomerates, but owned by the users. And I think that that’s where we really see, you know, if you were to lay it out, one of the pieces that we talked about a lot at the University at ASU is digital trust. And that’s another aspect of my role is to is a part of digital trust initiatives. And there really exists on a on a spectrum. If you think of centralized trust, being on one part of that spectrum, and decentralized trust me and the other side of that spectrum. All of it fits on trust, there’s different types of digital trust, right? So if you were to look at the sort of sort of status quo of centralized trust, right, you’re talking about, you know, things being highly regulated, like highly regulated networks, discretionary, closed loop, right, slow to adapt, you know, highly permission, central government kind of right, and then you move Move over to the other side of that spectrum where you might have decentralized trust, you’re talking stuff that’s like rules based self Sovereign Money. You know, things are predictable. They’re resilient to change machine readable, optimized for security and decentralization. You’re talking about, you know, leveraging things like different algorithms to really sort of prove consensus. That’s one of the moats that that blockchain had about business votes. One of the moats that it has is, hey, look, we can come to consensus without people even needing to know each other personally trust each other. Massive.

Adam Pierno 35:39
Yeah. And that can be anything from a huge thing like a Dao to small decisions that just need to be made as a collective

Unknown Speaker 35:47
over. Absolutely.

Adam Pierno 35:50
Timothy, I am not a web three. Evangelists, I’m not out there buying nfts and preaching it. Tell what what is the thing that you tell people who are skeptic? I’m not skeptical, but I’m not totally sold, either. I see the potential of it to be something in the future, but I don’t know quite what, what is it that you tell people that gets the most excited to get them from skepticism to somewhere closer to buying?

Timothy Summers, PhD. 36:19
Well, I think as it relates to web three there’s a number of things. You know, the first thing I think is it depends on how how much they’re aware of how much they’re aware of digital ownership, that’s, that’s where I would start. where I would start is, you know, the, it hasn’t been until now that we’ve had a way to represent ownership in the digital world. And digital ownership is something that is going to hyper accelerate the transition of activities. And, you know, the thing our daily lives, from the physical world, to the digital world. Now that we actually have a way of because it mean, there’s tons of virtual ecosystems out there now that are thriving, right, and look at the human participants there. You know, and this is, you know, where people are able to, oh, human participation, where people have at home those assets as opposed to renting them, or, you know, or sort of just paying to use them. That’s hugely different. You know, having a I’m not a, you know, I’m not in the metaverse, I mean, I haven’t. I mean, I’ve gone into the metaverse, and they have an Oculus and all that. But, but, but just saying using it as an example, if if there’s, you know, 10 years from now someone is in the metaverse, and, you know, I’ve actually seen some really cool ASU Audio, Audio sneakers, so we were really cool. You know, imagine someone being able to actually boom, that asset in the digital world. We’ve never had that before now. So you know, so if you look at, you know, traditional, traditional web to business models, you know, the end user typically faces all kinds of restrictions on their products and services, right, they can’t, you know, export, you know, in game assets, they can’t use them from one game to another. You can’t, you know, you can’t move other things that you know, Awards and achievements that you’ve accumulated in one game to another game or

Adam Pierno 38:48
environments, different different boundaries.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 38:52
Right. And sort of in contrast, if you look at public and decentralized blockchain environments, they allow users to store and move their assets in a legitimate way across environments and even maybe even potentially sell them in the secondary market. That’s so just even that level of digital ownership is massive NF T’s have just been one of the first representations of that, of that digital ownership, because we’ve been showing people building art. That’s really where, you know, we’re really seeing a massive, you know, amount of value there. The other thing too, is if you were to take the public data that’s out there, and then you take the assets that are owned by individuals, you know, and of course, through selective disclosure, the individuals are, can’t be forced to reveal their assets, but let’s just say selectively disclose their assets. You can then have robust artificial intelligence that lives in the web three cloud that’s actually been able to to do You collected intelligence. Right? So that’s really where the power of web three comes in. It’s this convergence of these technologies.

Adam Pierno 40:08
Wow. Okay, that was a compelling case. You move me closer to buy it in. Potential. Yeah. Yeah. Timothy, where can people find you online?

Timothy Summers, PhD. 40:25
You know, you can find me online, on Instagram or Twitter at how hackers think you can also find me at Arizona State University. And, yeah, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or curiosities on these topics. And yeah, thank you, Adam. This was really wonderful, great conversation. I hope to

Adam Pierno 40:48
Yeah, I thank you for humoring my dumb questions. That was good.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 40:52
Not at all. You’re you’re asking some wonderful questions, so they really had to make mistakes.

Adam Pierno 41:00
Awesome, man. Thank you so much.

Timothy Summers, PhD. 41:03
Hey, thanks again.

Adam Pierno 41:04
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai